Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Healthy Living

      Healthy eating and healthy living does not have to be difficult, yet it appears that the majority of overweight individuals cannot maintain restrictive diests because in all honesty the majority of these programs are unrealistic.
However, there are plenty of diet programs available that can be effective if followed, like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Mayo and Mediterranean diet. These have been around for a very long time. However, there is one consistency with all these diet programs and that’s the fact that no one can stay on them consistently. Therein lies the problem. Common sense tells me, (I am no dietician or nutritionist and have no background in dieting other than the fact that I’ve been on a “diet” for nearly fifty years), that eating healthy has to become a way of life, a habit forming ritual.
      As I’ve already mentioned in a previous post, I was very thin when I was young. It was not healthy (notice I keep using the word healthy), but when I became pregnant with my daughter, I began thinking about my health. I began to evaluate what I ate, and as an Italian, born and raised, I was confronted with the most wonderful foods, though not always the healthiest. Imagine three to four course meals on Sundays, two course meals during the weekdays, and six to seven course meals during the holidays! Yet, there wasn’t one overweight person in our house. Why? Because even though we had lasagna, steak, veal cutlets, fried chicken we always balanced with plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and red wine. I began cutting back on pasta and planned more fish dishes like flounder, salmon, and tuna. But, the real change to our way of eating came nearly seven years later.
      My husband and I truly changed our eating habits after his massive heart attack at the age of thirty-five. This is when I received the best education on nutrition. Stay away from: salt, sugar, processed foods, pasta, white rice, and pork to name a few, but concentrate on: fish, poultry, vegetables, fruit, nuts, water, and red wine. His cardiologist told him to eat moderately never to the point of being full but always leaving just a little space of empty. We implemented the new diet, so all of us began to eat healthier. Both my children have the genetic trait of creating cholesterol, so it was a good thing that we began eating better when they were very young. My husband was also told to exercise everyday even though his job was quite laborious. Today, my grown children with their spouses and children eat better than ever and exercise on a regular basis because of their experience.
      We don’t do McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken; we don’t do processed foods or snacks other than humus, salsa, guacamole, nuts, vegetable dips, etc. We stay away from sweets unless it’s a special occasion, although we do indulge in dark chocolate on a regular basis. We drink water not soda and we drink at least one glass of red wine during the evening. My grandchildren are accustomed to Rice milk and/water. Juices are normally watered down but once in awhile they have juice straight up.
      I don’t think any of us obsess about “dieting” per se, yet we do concentrate on eating what will keep us energized and vital. We view our size not as a fashion statement but a physical statement. Here are some really good sites for healthy and nutritional lifestyles.
Real Life Nutrition. The Gluten Free RD news and views by Cynthia sass

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